Category Archives: Art

Dress Wars


Good morning Everyone!

Dresses

What to Wear? http://www.clickartonline.com All rights reserved

It is one of the oldest arguments that exist between mother and daughter.  I have had it with Kayla, my Mom had it with one, or all three, of her daughters, and I’m willing to bet that she had the discussion with her mother also.  It always begins with a variation on the question, “You weren’t going to wear that, were you?”

To reach the earliest recorded instance of this argument, we are going to have to resort to the Ugg Clan Chronicles.  As was briefly discussed in A Highly Biased History of Writing, Part I, two of Ugg and Uggette’s 14 children, Uggodu and Uggodo, had an interest in substances from which would eventually spring the art of alchemy.  As part of that interest, and as a result of a string of both fortunate and unfortunate accidents involving a dried out animal skin, a summer long camping trip, mammoth and wolf dung, lots of water as well as oak and the lack of a strong sense of smell, they discovered the art of tanning, which takes animal hides and turns them into a fabric of sorts that doesn’t putrefy when wet (or dry, for that matter).  Once Mrs. Ugg finally discovered what they had been up to, and viewed the final result, she was instantly taken with the new invention (although, due to the malodorous nature of the process, she was forced to require Uggodu and Uggodo to conduct their experiments in a swamp that was normally downwind and about three miles away.)  Because the process took time, Mrs. Ugg reserved the twins’ leather for special occasion garments only, leaving the family with regular animal skins for every day wear.

Dress Argument

Uggette and Uggita Discuss Dress; http://www.clickartonline.com, All Rights Reserved

In November of that year, the Ugg’s received a cordial invitation by smoke signal to attend a campfire festival attended by all of the families in the surrounding area, of which there were two besides the Uggs – the local medicine doctor’s family and the distinguished Oop Clan.  Uggita, the oldest of the 14 children, was very much enamoured of the eldest Oop son, Alley, Jr.  Because of that, she waited until it was time for the family to leave before showing herself ready for the family procession dressed in the leather dress Mrs. Ugg had prepared for special ceremonial occasions as opposed to casual get-togethers, at which point Mrs. Ugg laid down the gauntlet by proclaiming, “You surely are NOT going to the campfire fest wearing that, are you?”  After about 10 minutes of heated argument, finally settled when Ugg, being a wise man who loved domestic harmony, weighed in on Mrs. Ugg’s behalf, a sulky Uggita returned to the cave to reemerge wearing her every day fur skin.  (For the record, Alley, Jr. found Uggita captivating even if she wasn’t in ceremonial dress.)

The second recorded instance of such an argument that I am aware of (I am sure there are many such records, but I don’t know about them) proved that even royalty is not immune from such discussions.

Maria Theresa of Austria, Hapsburg

Empress Maria Theresa, 1759 By Martin van Meytens – Buchscan, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=68471

The Sep./Oct. 2016 issue of National Geographic History contained an article about the dress standards of Marie Antoinette and her court.  (Maria Pilar Queralt del Hierro, “Rococo Revolution:  Marie Antoinette’s Courtier Couture”, pp. 10-13).  Included in a sidebar to the article was the following excerpt of a letter from Empress Maria Theresa of Austria to her daughter, Marie Antionette, upon receiving a painting of Marie Antionette after she became Queen of France:

As you know, I have always been of the opinion that fashions should be followed in moderation but should never be taken to extremes.  A beautiful young woman, a graceful queen, has no need for such madness.  On the contrary, simplicity of dress is more befitting and more worthy of a queen.  I love my little queen and watch everything you do and feel I must not hesitate to draw your attention to this little frivolity.

Id., p. 11.

Marie Antoinette with rose

Marie Antoinette of France, 1783 by Louise Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun; Public Domain Due to Age of Painting

So mothers, when you feel the need to challenge your daughter’s choice of attire, hold your heads high!  You stand with the company of your forebears and royalty when you do so.

Have a great day!

Nancy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

about the dress habits of Marie Antionette and her court

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Finally – a Craft for Men!


Good morning Everyone!

Finally:

A Craft for Men.

At a Michael’s Near You!

 

Have a great day!

Nancy

Symbiosis: Lichen


Good morning Everyone!

Today we are going to take a walk into improbable reality:  the lichen.  While we tend to think of and treat lichen as one organism, it actually is composed of two (or more) organisms living together for each other’s benefit:  a fungus and an alga.  The fungus provides structure, support and water for the lichen, while the alga produces food through photosynthesis.  Because of this symbiosis, lichen are not considered to be plants.  (They aren’t animals either, nor minerals – so how do you answer the question “Is it animal, vegetable or mineral?” when it comes to lichen?)

Lichen, Wood

Lichen on Firewood by a House, Photo Credit: Nancy Eady

I became curious about lichen while we were living in our rental house.  The house owner had cut up a tree on the property, and placed the logs by the house.  Over time, rows and rows of fan-like shapes began to grow on the ends of the logs.  I took a picture of them, above.  As best I could determine, they were a kind of lichen.

Lichen Wood

Lichen in Wood, Photo Credit: Nancy Eady

Lichen are ancient survivors.  The oldest known fossil showing both symbiotic components of a lichen is 400 million years old, FN,  so it stands to reason that lichens are even older – it is highly unlikely that the first ever lichen was also the first lichen fossilized!  The variety and distribution of lichen is astounding.  There are over 20,000 known forms.  There are lichen that can colonize the most inhospitable of places, such as bare rock in the arctic, lichen that process and help break down inorganic matter such as wood, and lichen that seem to drift airily down in strands off of bushes and live off of the air.

Lichen, Letharia

Feathery Lichen. Photo Credit: Letharia vulpina JHollinger crop” by Jason Hollinger – Mushroom Observer. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Lichen can live for astoundingly long periods of time; in fact, one lichen from the arctic circle is estimated to be 9000 years old!  I keep looking for a picture of this ancient lichen, but I haven’t located one yet.  I do know that the ancient arctic lichen is a member of what are commonly called “map lichen.”  As you can see, they get their name from the shapes they form on rocks, which resemble maps.  Their growth rate is incredibly slow, yet predictable, so they can be useful tools in dating other objects.  The use of lichen to date objects is called “lichenometry.”

Lichen, Rock, Map Lichen, Arctic

Map Lichen Photo Credit: Rhizocarpon geographicum on quartz” by User:Tigerente – Self-photographed. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Lichen also provide scientists with helpful information about air pollution; most lichen are highly sensitive to air pollution, so if there is an area that normally would host lichen, yet has none, the air quality around the area is likely poor.

Aaliyah Gupta, Lichen, Acrylic on Duralar

Lichen, Acrylic on Duralar, By Aaliyah Gupta, Copied with Permission from the Artist

I have a friend in Seattle who is an artist, Aaliyah Gupta, and she worked on a series a few years ago exploring the symbiosis that creates lichen.  Her work is stunningly beautiful, delicate and unique, capturing the intricacies of a symbiotic dance that has persisted through the ages.

Aaliyah Gupta, Lichen

Lichen, by Aaliyah Gupta, Acrylic on Duralar, All Rights Reserved, Copied with Permission from the Artist

God’s handiwork is astounding.  Nature’s variety and inventiveness is unparalleled.  Taking the time to learn about other organisms on this planet always pays dividends – if only to make us realize how privileged we are to be part of the complex web of life traveling on Spaceship Earth!

Have a great day everyone!

Nancy

 

FN.  400 million years ago was the “Early Devonian Period.”  During the Early Devonian, plants and animals began to colonize land, while aquatic life was farther along and more diverse.  In other words, lichen pre-date dinosaurs, flowers, trees and grass!

Kayla’s Turn: Photo Essay, Charlotte, North Carolina


Good morning Everyone!

When Mark and I first married, we lived in North Carolina for three years.  While most of that time was spent in a small town called Rockingham, North Carolina, we did have the opportunity to live for at least a few months in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Even back then, in the late 80’s, Charlotte was a beautiful city.  It ended up being one of the places we enjoyed living in most out of everywhere we’ve been.  We had a chance a few weeks ago to go back to Charlotte for the first time, and we took Kayla with us.  While we were driving through downtown Charlotte, Kayla took the following pictures, which I think (proud mama alert!) are quite extraordinary for a 12-year-old armed with only an iPod.

Charlotte, North Carolina

This one is probably my very favorite of all of the pictures that she took.  One of the unique features of Charlotte is the quantity of trees the city, even the downtown, still has.  Early on in its urban development, Charlotte’s city fathers passed ordinances requiring trees to be kept intact whenever possible.

Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte got its start as a town in the first gold rush that ever occurred in the United States – gold was found in Charlotte in the early 1800’s. Now the city is a financial services mecca, headquarters to many different banks and other financial institutions.

photo 1

 

We were riding through on a misty morning, and the tops of the skyscrapers were hidden in the clouds, a fact that fascinated Kayla.

photo 2

 

I, of course, hardly recognized anything downtown from when we lived here over twenty years ago, and yet I still recognized the spirit of the city.  The city that can maintain the balance between old and new and still retain its original identity is a rare city indeed.  But then, that’s Charlotte!

photo 3

 

Have a great day!

Nancy

The Southern Spring Show


Good morning Everyone!

I thought I would mark the return from Spring Break here at our house by showing you the latest set of four paintings I have finished.  I call the series the “Southern Spring Show.”  They are done in oil, and as you will see at the end, are meant to comprise a single piece of art, although each of the four can also stand individually.  It took me about nine months to do these (remember, I only get to spend an hour or two each week, if that, working on them though, so that’s not quite as long as it sounds!)

The Dogwood:

Dogwood take 2

The Camellia:

cropped camellia scan

The Magnolia:

cropped but full magnolia

The Azalea:

azalea scan

The Complete, Framed “Southern Spring Show”:

The Whole Thing

Have a great day!

Nancy

Southern Spring Show


Good morning Everyone!

While this spring has sported unusually cool weather for Alabama, the azaleas had a brief chance to put on their usual fireworks show.  Here are just a few of them:

2013-04-17_07-58-25_284 2013-04-17_07-58-32_49 2013-04-17_07-58-36_512 2013-04-17_07-58-41_412 2013-04-17_07-58-43_790 2013-04-17_07-59-01_961 2013-04-17_07-59-05_590 DSCN1264 DSCN1244 DSCN1243 DSCN1242 DSCN1240

Have a great day!

Nancy

Concrete and Abstract


Good morning Everyone!

I thought I’d share a couple of “Kayla-isms” with you this morning, along with some views of my re-done abstract painting.

1) Beautiful Music

Symphony

Symphony: From Print Shop Professional 3.0

Some of you may recall that our family is gifted in the art of gentle satire.  One day last week, Kayla was bemoaning some terrible fact of her existence, such as her parent’s inexplicable insistence that her room does need to be picked up every now and then, and I responded with that gentle satire we are known for.  I don’t think she appreciated it, because she looked at me as she was getting out of the car and said, “Thanks for the symphony, Mom!”

2) Upside Down

Upside Down

Upside Down: From Print Shop Professional 3.0

Kayla recently acquired an iPod Touch with her own money, and apparently watched a YouTube video on how to make your hair longer, because she entered the living room, sat down in our armchair, then flipped herself over where her feet were sticking up in the air and her head (and consequently her hair) were sticking upside down.  More than a little curious, Mark and I inquired as to her new sitting position, only to be told that the YouTube video had said that one way to grow your hair long was to blow-dry it upside down.  When I started to laugh, she wanted to know what was so funny!

Blow Drying Hair

Blow Drying Hair: From Print Shop Professional 3.0

3) The Abstract Finished

A couple of week’s ago, in the art retrospective post that I published, I showed you this picture of my first abstract painting, and told you that I had decided to go back and do some more work on it:

After a few more weeks of work, here is the final version of the painting, which is called Fibonacci Zero: The Beginning (from Genesis: “In the beginning…the earth was without form and void and the Spirit of God moved over the waters…”):

Fibonacci Zero

Close-up: Fibonacci Zero: The Beginning

Here is a different view:

View 2

And finally, a third view looking at the painting from the right towards the left:

View 2

I like it a lot better now; the colors are richer and darker.

Have a great day everyone!

Nancy